Posts by: Tom Shelton

Low Cost Thermal Diagnoses Misalignment Machinery Health

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By on June 29, 2016

With the availability and decreasing prices of technology to help diagnose rotating machinery health, machine failure should be a diminishing concern. Thermal imaging cameras can be expensive; however, these cameras have very detailed diagnostic abilities and high resolution. Reduced cost Thermal Imaging has recently become available through various sources. I recently purchased an infrared camera […]

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X, Y, & Z Axis. Does the Z Axis Affect Shaft Alignment?

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By on April 14, 2016

Does the z axis affect alignment? In short, no it does not. There are aspects of the z axis that could affect the running of a machine, but rotational shaft alignment is not of them. What is the z axis? The X and Y axes are references to horizontal and vertical planes respectively.  With regard […]

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Overcome the Frustration of Being Bolt-Bound or Base-Bound

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By on March 18, 2016

Many blogs have been written about what it means to be either base-bound or bolt-bound and how to correct the situation. I want to write again about it because I encounter this frustration scenario in almost every training class. I am surprised by how many millwright/mechanics (including myself) can get so wrapped up in the […]

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Troubleshooting Tips

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By on January 5, 2016

In his blog post “Repeatability vs. Desired Outcome – parts 1&2”, Stan Riddle, one of my fellow technical trainers for VibrAlign, explains why alignment results may vary from the expected outcome. He explains in some detail a number of causes and how they are affecting your alignment process. Many of these causes could be eliminated […]

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Common Precision Shaft Alignment Questions Asked In Our Training Classes

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By on December 10, 2015

While training mechanics all around the US, I have noticed that many of the questions asked in class are the same regardless of the industry. Fixturlaser tools are very intuitive and easy to use, so this puts the mystery on the alignment process. So here are some answers to some common alignment process related questions […]

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Proper Coupling Application, Installation and Maintenance

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By on September 16, 2015

Precision maintenance personnel ensure that rotating machinery is aligned well beyond excellent shaft alignment tolerances, but overlook other crucial elements that affect the operation of the machines. One of these elements is the coupling. The coupling is where the “handshake” between the driver and driven machine takes place. The coupling assures consistent power transfer and […]

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Shimming when there are more than four feet on the moveable element.

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By on August 4, 2015

  When more than four feet are on the movable machine, it is necessary to shim under the additional feet. How do we determine what amount of shim is required to properly support these feet? This is debatable. Some would say that it is necessary to calculate the needed shims. Others might say “Why bother? […]

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Useful Field Apps for Today’s Maintenance Personnel

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By on June 17, 2015

The world of machinery maintenance continues to grow with reliability and technology at the forefront of the majority of today’s maintenance programs. The mechanics toolbox must change to support these changes. Computer based manuals and programs were the first step into “the future” of machine maintenance. Now smart phones and tablets have more memory available […]

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Clean, Clean, Clean! To Eliminate Soft Foot!

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By on May 7, 2015

There are many things that can affect the precision shaft alignment process, which needs to be checked and eliminated during the Pre-Alignment Steps, such as pipe strain, disintegrating bases, bearing or coupling wear, etc…. One of the main issues concerning shaft alignment of rotating equipment is the challenge of soft foot and its detrimental effect […]

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Soft Foot And The Dirt That Causes It

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By on January 15, 2015

While on the road for VibrAlign ReAligning America, we trainers encounter similar issues at every facility where we conduct our Shaft Alignment Best Practices Training. During our training classes we ask the students what are some of the “pains” that they have regarding the precision shaft alignments that they have attempted in the past. The […]

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OL2R – The True Measure of a Machine’s Movement

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By on December 11, 2014

OL2R is the acronym for OffLine 2 Running. OL2R is an optional program and special precision bracket set that is available for the Fixturlaser NXA Pro & Ultimate (also XA Pro & Ultimate). This option allows the shaft aligner to accurately measure vertical AND horizontal changes of machines from a static (OffLine) position to a […]

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“Electrical Pipe Strain?”

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By on November 6, 2014

Precision shaft alignment of rotating equipment is an essential part of any solid preventative maintenance program. To accommodate aligning any type of machinery you must be able to move one of the elements of the machine to achieve a precision shaft alignment. There are many limiting influences that could cause you to not be able […]

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Use your Head Not Your Hammer!

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By on October 2, 2014

Many of our classroom discussion topics relate to problems in the field when attempting a precision shaft alignment of rotating equipment. One such topic is how to move a piece of equipment horizontally that does not have jack bolts already mounted on the base. The obvious answer is to mount a set of jack bolts […]

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The Fastest Way to Do an Alignment

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By on May 23, 2014

According to our resident alignment training “philosopher” Stan Riddle, “The fastest way to complete a precision shaft alignment is to take your time”. This doesn’t mean to take numerous breaks, what he is telling us is to stop and think! As Industrial Mechanics, usually in a production environment, we tend to try and complete a […]

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The Mounting Question??

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By on May 16, 2014

One of the frequent questions that we are asked is “Where do I mount the sensors?” The answer is that   you must mount them to the rotating elements of the driver and driven machine in a location that provides a solid footing for whatever mounting apparatus you need to use. The sensors also must have […]

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